German National ID app coming to Samsung phones this year

The new German national ID app on a Samsung phone

Samsung has announced that it has been working with the German Federal Office for Information Security (BSI), Bundesdruckerei (bdr), and Deutsche Telekom Security GmbH to make Germany’s National electronic ID available on several Samsung Galaxy smartphones. It said the new eID solution will be available to Germans later this year.

According to the Korean firm, the organisations have developed a hardware-based security architecture that allows German citizens to carry their eID on their mobile devices securely. Samsung says that once a person enrols, their eID is transferred to a secure location on their phone. The implementation follows strict security requirements laid out by the federal government.

Discussing the implementation, Dr. Stefan Hofschen, CEO of Bundesdruckerei, said:

“In addition to the identity card, almost every citizen in Germany owns a smartphone. Thanks to the OPTIMOS project and in cooperation with Samsung and Deutsche Telekom Security, we now have the chance to combine the high level of trust in the physical document with the user-friendliness of the smartphone. We are thus creating the basis to ensure sovereignty and trust in a world that is becoming increasingly ‘digital’ and ‘mobile’. In the future, digital sovereign identities and authorizations can be used and managed by citizens in a self-determined manner via the app provided by bdr for this purpose.”

The first devices which will support this feature will be the Samsung Galaxy S20 line-up. The firm said this initiative is only just beginning, in future iterations users will be able to remotely verify their identity to access and send confidential medical records, open a bank account, and vote using their smartphone.

Germans will be able to begin using the app later this year once Bundesdruckerei has published the app on the Play Store. Owners of the Galaxy S20 and other compatible devices will then be able to use NFC to add their National ID card to their phone.

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